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Biomedical Engineering LabsEnvironmental Scanning Electron Microscope

ESEM Laboratory

Location: Lawrence Technological University, Engineering Building, E109

Director: Yawen Li (yli@ltu.edu, 248.204.2510)

Faculty advisors:  Robert Fletcher (rfletcher@ltu.edu 248.204.2525)

The director and faculty advisors set access policy, user fee structure and long term development plans of the ESEM lab. Each of them has extensive experience of electron microscopy. New and potential users are encouraged to consult one of them to effectively utilize the ESEM for your research and educational purposes.

Staff: John Peponis (jpeponis@ltu.edu  248.204.2520)

John Peponis is responsible for maintaining the daily operation of the microscope. Please contact him if you notice any malfunction of the instrument and shortage of lab supplies.


  • No need for conductive coating
  • Compatible with wet, oily, soft and porous materials
  • High resolution and depth of focus
  • In situ heating and cooling (-20~1500ï‚°C)
  • In situ mechanical testing (up to 300 N)
  • X-ray microanalysis
national science foundation Funded by the NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program (1040607)

Usage Guidelines

This is a multi-user facility administered through the College of Engineering. We can assist you in learning the operation techniques so that you may proceed with your research or educational goals. We are also able to process specimens as a service facility if desired.

In order to keep this multi-user facility in good working order, it is essential that all users follow the lab guidelines outlined below and respect the needs of others.  Please feel free to contact Yawen Li (248.204.2510, yli@ltu.edu) if you have any questions about the lab policy or have special needs.

User Application and authorization: Users who wish to use the facility should complete a user authorization form. The form must be filled out by the person who is responsible for the funding of the research or educational activities. A university account number must be provided for recharging the instrument usage and supplies. Users from outside LTU are requested to provide the same information, along with a purchase order to which the usage can be charged. The User Fees (see below) vary depending on the type of user.

User Fees: The instrument usage and supplies are charged in order to offset the cost of maintaining the facility (service contract and consumables).


 Trained independent user





 Other universities






* These charges include University Indirect Costs, which must be charged to all outside users in accordance to the University's fiscal policy.

Training: Users may work independently after they receive training and approval from the ESEM staff. The training includes taking a lecture or passing a qualifying exam on the theory of ESEM, and one-on-one hands-on operation of the instrument.

Access: The facility is open from 9:30 to 5:00 each workday.  Users are encouraged to reserve the instrument through the online booking system. You can also drop by and use the instrument if it has not already been reserved.

Equipment Malfunctions:  Please do not attempt to fix any equipment problems, regardless how small or insignificant they may appear to be.  Contact the staff if you run into any problems. This rule must be enforced so that we can maintain the equipment in the best possible shape and avoid unnecessary downtime.

Supplies:  The users are responsible for preparing and storing their own specimens. The ESEM Lab does not provide storage space for users.  Some routine items are supplied by the facility. 

Reporting problems:  Please contact John Peponis (248.204.2520) if any equipment or other problems arise in the laboratory.  If he is not available during working hours and the problem must be taken care of immediately, contact Yawen Li (248.204.2510).

Authorization Forms

Please complete the user authorization form and submit them to Dr. Yawen Li (yli@ltu.edu) so you can start scheduling for training and usage of the instrument.

Please note there are three types of forms, depending on the type of users:

1. LTU users  

2. External academic users

3. Industry users

Operating Procedure Manual

Download the PDF Document

ESEM Operating Procedures